Brooklyn Scaffolding And Ladder Accidents
New York City streets are uniquely filled with what seems like countless construction zones filled with ladders and scaffolding throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 65% of construction projects in the United States involve using scaffolding by an estimated 2.3 million workers. A significant portion of those are in the metropolitan New York and New Jersey area. With that much usage by that many workers, construction accidents and serious injuries are bound to happen and sadly, there are many construction worker scaffold accidents in New York each year that result in serious injuries or even death. According to the New York City Department of Buildings, the rise in the number of deaths and injuries on New York City construction projects has risen much faster than the rate of new construction over the last few years.
Scaffolding is supposed to help construction workers do their jobs, but it is also to protect the public below them. Scaffolds are risky structures, however, and it is crucial for public safety as well as for the safety of construction workers using them for the scaffolds to be sturdy and properly erected and secured. In many cases, scaffolding will stay up for years. This may cause undue strain and wear on scaffolding, and because of this, scaffolds need to be constantly maintained and inspected for safety and structural integrity.
Scaffold Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Falls from heights are one of the leading cause of construction worker accidents in New York and cause hundreds of injuries each year. According to federal BLS statistics, 35 % of on-the-job fatalities in the construction industry are caused by a fall, or tripping or slipping.
The nature of scaffold accidents – typically involving people and objects falling from significant heights – means that when ladder and scaffolding accidents happen, the injuries that occur tend to be serious or fatal. Common scaffold accident injuries include:
• Broken bones
• Spinal cord injury
• Traumatic brain injury
• Internal organ damage
• Severe lacerations
Common Causes Of Scaffolding Accidents And Injuries
According to a recent BLS report, over 70% of scaffold injuries are caused by:
• Scaffold support or planking giving way, caused by either defective or damaged equipment or improper assembly, leading to construction worker falls and injuries to those below
• Slipping or tripping while on a scaffold due to factors such as slippery surfaces, inadequate planking or an unsafe incline, leading to falls where guardrails, a safety harness, or proper training were lacking.
• Falling objects hitting a worker on a scaffold or people below
Other scaffold accidents involve the placement of scaffolds and equipment too close to power or other utility lines, leading to electrocution.
New York State Labor Law Section 240 Concerning Scaffold Accidents
New York Labor Law protects construction workers with a number of legal options to pursue compensation for injuries from a scaffolding accident. Special labor laws in New York hold property owners and general contractors responsible for the safety of scaffolding, as well as any scaffold accidents a construction worker may experience.
• Section 240 of the New York Labor Law requires that all contractors and building owners provide and maintain safe scaffolding for the protection of construction workers engaged in the “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building.” This statute was designed to protect workers from the special hazards presented by scaffolds, ladders, lift devices and other gravity-related mechanisms. And the violation of Section 240 imposes absolute liability, meaning that a workers’ comparative negligence is not valid as evidence in a court of law.
Experienced Scaffold Accident Lawyers Serving Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, New York And New Jersey
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident on the job at a New York construction site, you need an experienced New York construction accident lawyer who will fight for you to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. The Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates has had years of success handling construction accident cases for our clients. We accept all accident and personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay no attorney fees unless we recover money for you. For a free evaluation of your injury claim or your wrongful death claim after a construction site scaffolding accident, please give us a call at 347-318-4935 or contact us online today.